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SCU math professor awarded Fulbright Scholar grant to create graduate program in Malawi, Africa

SANTA CLARA, Calif.,-- Nov. 14, 2005. Edward Schaefer, associate professor of math and computer science at Santa Clara University, was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to develop a graduate cryptography program at Mzuzu University in Mzuzu, Malawi. Schaefer left for Malawi in the summer and will continue his work through the 2005-06 academic year.

Schaefer is using the Fulbright grant not only to help Mzuzu University create a master’s of science program, but also to help subsidize the visits of two SCU seniors who are studying at Mzuzu University. The students will return to SCU at the end of the fall quarter. In an e-mail from Malawi, Schaefer shared yet another way in which he is putting his grant to work: “I am also using the award to support a few hundred villagers I know during the oncoming famine,” he wrote.

Malawi is located in southeastern Africa; many tour companies bill it as “the warm heart of Africa.” Robert Bekes, chair of SCU’s math and computer science department, said, “Ed is an adventurer as well as an innovative thinker, so it came as no surprise that he wanted to do a project in a remote part of Africa. The Fulbright Scholar award exemplifies Ed's commitment to sharing his knowledge and skills not only with students here at SCU but with communities throughout the world. We are very proud of his work."

Schaefer is one of approximately 850 U.S. faculty and professionals who are traveling abroad through the Fulbright Scholar Program to some 150 countries. Recipients of Fulbright Scholar awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and because they have demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential in their fields. Among the thousands of prominent U.S. Fulbright Scholar alumni are Milton Friedman, Nobel Laureate in Economics; James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA and Nobel Laureate in Medicine; and Craig Barrett, CEO of Intel Corporation.

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its 8,213 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the third-highest graduation rate among U.S. masters’ universities across the country, California’s oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. More information is online at

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